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The Not-So-Scary True Story of a Root Canal

“You need a root canal.”

This can be such a scary statement for some patients, but in reality, it’s a very common and painless procedure.  A root canal can be warranted for several reasons: infection, loss of tooth structure, trauma, etc.  A root canal can be completed by an endodontist and, in some cases, by your dentist.  The procedure usually lasts on average for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour—all of which are painless.

In order to achieve optimal comfort, local anesthesia is performed to ensure that the tooth is properly numbed. There are some endodontists who even offer general anesthesia which means that the patient can opt to be put to sleep.

While the patient is in the chair, the dentist/endodontist will then gently remove the necrotic nerve which is causing the issue within the tooth. Teeth can have anywhere from 1-3 canals and in some instances, patients can have accessory canals (extra canals).  After all of the bad tissue is removed, a filler is placed in the canal to restore where the nerve used to be.  The endodontist/dentist then will put a temporary filling in the tooth to cover the access from where the root canal was performed. Patients are then referred back to their dentist for a permanent restoration.

When a root canal is performed, a crown is generally recommended. After the root canal is completed, the tooth no longer has a blood supply which can make the tooth brittle. A crown is a full surface porcelain restoration that will protect the tooth from fracturing.  Having a root canal is such a relief for patients because it addresses pain, infection and brings full restoration back to the patient’s mouth.

I myself have had a root canal on my front tooth; it was a very straight forward procedure in which I was relieved of pain and able to keep my tooth.

If you have questions regarding having a root canal, don’t hesitate to call us. Our experienced team at Dorosti Dental is happy to address any concerns you may have.


~Post by Haleigh, Dorosti Dental Hygienist & EFDA

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